Here are some scenes from the convention; many have been reported elsewhere, but fwiw here’s my take:
Friday night the DNC held two huge parties to welcome delegates. The Berners were proudly displaying Bernie bling, Hillary fans much less so. Things were peaceful.
The Bernie meeting at 12:30 Monday reflected where many delegates are: angry and sad that Bernie is not the nominee–when he told us to elect Hillary to stop Trump, the room booed. There is no Trump love among any of the delegates I’ve met here, just no Hillary love either.
Bernie made some key points:
By overwhelmingly winning the youth vote, he has set the agenda for the future of the Democratic Party. In addition, five state parties are now controlled by Berniecrats. And the fight for social, economic, racial, and environmental justice continues. The convention is not the apocalypse; the fight to transform this country continues.
Many reporters have asked me if I and other Bernie delegates were feeling unified. Not much, I tell them, even the many of us who do not want Trump elected, and are willing to act unified in the end. Then the reporters ask: Why?
I say: because the progressives are sick and tired of being told we have nowhere to go, and we have to put up and shut up. Reporters: Oh, but what don’t you like about Hillary? I say: Bernie’s campaign was about issues, and Hillary hasn’t adopted key positions, like Stopping the TPP.
Oh, but she opposes it! The reporters say. Tim Kaine too! And I counter: Really? Then why wouldn’t the platform committee adopt a commitment to not send it to the Congress? Isn’t that what opposition means? Here’s what we think is happening: Clinton and Kaine oppose while President Obama tries to pass it in lame duck. If he succeeds–and we Berniecrats will do everything we can to stop the TPP–then Clinton & Kaine’s opposition is cheap. If he fails, and TPP becomes Clinton’s to deal with. We bet she will “fix” something, and then support it. So their “opposition” is meaningless to us.
This feeling was reflected by the loud Stop the TPP actions during the Monday night convention, which targeted in part the platform.
As I walked in to the WFC, another reporter asked me about a message Bernie sent to all of us delegates, in which he explicitly asked us not to protest on the floor. Bernie said:
“I would ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest or demonstration on the convention floor.” He made clear exactly what he was talking about. His email said:
“Our credibility as a movement will be damaged by booing, turning of backs, walking out or other similar displays. That’s what the corporate media wants. That’s what Donald Trump wants. But that’s not what will expand the progressive movement in this country.”
The reporter asked me if Bernie’s delegates would listen to him. I said, well, I don’t speak for all delegates. What people need to understand is that Bernie inspired people about issues; people who never participated in the process before opted in because they were passionate about the issues. Some Bernie delegates are activists first, delegates second. More delegates will take direction from Bernie. And the boos began, every time someone called for Hillary to be elected President. But most delegates were not booing.
During Monday night, the DNC put up little videos about various topics; the one about how Republicans took over Congress by gerrymandering, while largely true, was maddening because really, the DNC simply failed. The Rs had opponents…